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figure 19-3

The three dispersion patterns are random (a), uniform (b), and clumped(c). However, the observed dispersion of a population sometimes depends on the scale at which the population is observed.

The social interactions of birds called gannets, which are shown in Figure 19-3b, result in a uniform distribution. Each gannet chooses a small nesting area on the coast and defends it from other gannets. In this way, each gannet tries to maximize its distance from all of its neighbors, which causes a uniform distribution of individuals.

Few populations are truly randomly dispersed. Rather, they show degrees of clumping or uniformity. The dispersion pattern of a population sometimes depends on the scale at which the population is observed. The gannets shown in Figure 19-3b are uniformly distributed on a scale of a few meters. However, if the entire island on which the gannets live is observed, the distribution appears clumped because the birds live only near the shore.

figure 19-3

The three dispersion patterns are random (a), uniform (b), and clumped(c). However, the observed dispersion of a population sometimes depends on the scale at which the population is observed.

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